Gender Roles in Economics

Gender and age were the two determinants of the Shoshone division of labor. Women were the primary contributors of the daily staple foods. They regularly gathered various edible plants, including roots and bulbs, edible leafy plants, berries, and grass seeds that could be made into a kind of porridge. Women also wove baskets for domestic use and made capes by weaving strips of rabbit hides together.

Men's primary subsistence activity was hunting. Since game was sparse, hunting was a time-consuming but important activity, since it provided both meat and resources, such as hides, that were used for manufacturing various items such as clothing.

Both men and women were free to participate in non-market exchanges with persons outside their own families. Until the arrival of European immigrants and the establishment of markets in their settlements, the primary form of exchange among the Shoshone was reciprocal gift giving. Among the Shoshone, natural resources were not owned. Rather, use was allocated on a "first come, first served" basis. Personal property consisted of only such things as clothing and the tools one carried from camp to camp. For the most part, personal property consisted of those things one had made oneself or received as a gift. Since individual families wandered alone for most of each year, there were no regular rules of inheritance rights. Most personal property was buried with a deceased person, although individuals of either sex who were present at the death of a relative might keep individual mementos for either emotional or utilitarian reasons.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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